Lumpia – Filipino Egg Rolls

Lumpia – Filipino Egg Rolls

Lumpia is the Philippines’ version of Egg Rolls.  Like so many other Asian countries the Filipino Lumpia comes in many varieties.

There is Lumpiang Sariwa or “Fresh Lumpia” that are very thin crepe like wrappers that are filled with stir fried vegetables, shrimp, meats, or a combination of them.  Lumpiang Shanghai are meat filled deep fried egg rolls that are tightly wrapped to look like thin cigars or are cut into smaller pieces when served as appetizers, they are usually served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce.  Then there are fried lumpia that closely resemble spring rolls.  Fried Lumpia can be filled with just about anything including ripe bananas which are actually called Turon or Banana Lumpia.

Fried Lumpia is a favorite in my house; I make them by the dozen and freeze them so we always have some on hand.  Making fried lumpia is pretty easy since I usually toss in whatever I have on hand including ground beef, green beans, tofu, carrots, bean sprouts, potatoes, and onions.  You can put any combination of meats, seafood, and veggies in a fried lumpia, it’s really not complicated.  Whatever ends up as my filling I always serve it with a garlic vinegar sauce, my family loves it!

Today I’ll share my version of Fried Lumpia.  I’ll list ingredients just remember they’re all pretty much optional and you can toss in whatever you prefer; but use at least 3 of the optional items in your filling.  You can buy frozen egg roll wrappers at any Asian Market, most packages contain 25 wrappers.

Fried Lumpia

Ingredients:

1 or 2 Package Egg Roll Wrapper – thawed

1 Lb. Ground Beef – but you can use pork, chicken, turkey, or shrimp instead

1 Small Onion Chopped

1 Tbs. Garlic Minced

2-3 Potatoes – Cooked and cubed (optional)

2 Cups Bean Sprouts (optional)

1 Package Firm Tofu – cut into small cubes

1 Cup Shredded Carrots (optional)

1 Cup Fresh String Beans – Thinly sliced (optional)

1 Cup Shredded Cabbage (optional)

1/8 Cup Soy Sauce

1/2 Tsp. Salt

1/2 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Egg slightly beaten (to seal wrappers)

Oil for frying

Dipping Sauce:

1/2 Cup White or Rice Vinegar

1/2 Tsp. Garlic Minced

1/4 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1/4 Tsp. Chili Pepper Flakes (optional)

Directions:

Heat about 1 Tbl. of oil in a wok or large skillet.

Saute chopped onions until they start to turn translucent.

Add minced garlic and saute for about 1 minute, be careful not to burn the garlic.

Add ground beef or whatever meat you are using.  If you are using shrimp add them later after veggies have cooked as shrimp cook quickly and will over cook if you have to cook veggies.

Add salt and pepper.  Cook until meat is well done and crumbly.

Add beans, carrots, cabbage if you are using them.  Cook until soft.

Add Bean Sprouts and cook until soft.

Gently stir in Tofu and soy sauce.

Remove from heat, drain liquid from pan, and set aside.

Thaw egg roll wrappers and remove from package.

Separate wrappers being careful not to tear.  Place on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel.  You will be using one wrapper at a time so keep the others under the damp paper towel to keep them from drying out.

Take one wrapper and place on flat surface.

Place about 1 to 1 1/2 heaping tbl. of filling along one side of the wrapper.

Fold over both ends and roll like a burrito.

Brush some beaten egg on the wrapper to seal.

Place on a plate if you will be frying the same day or place in freezer bag if you plan on freezing them for later.

Repeat until you use all the wrappers.

When you’re ready to fry heat about 2″ of oil in a pan or use your deep fryer.

If you are frying the ones you just made, fry them in hot oil until they turn dark golden brown.

Place them on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Serve hot.

If you are frying frozen lumpia, carefully place FROZEN lumpia in the heated oil.  Do not thaw them as they will get too soft and fall apart.  Fry them until dark golden brown.

To make the sauce just add all the sauce ingredients into a bowl and stir.

Other options for the fillings include shredding sweet potatoes, chopped water chestnuts, sliced bamboo shoots,and pretty much anything you like.


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Seared Salmon in Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce

Seared Salmon in Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce

Salmon, that pretty pink fish fillet rich in protein and Omega-3 Fatty Acids is not only good for you it’s delicious too!

I love salmon because of it’s mild flavor making one of the easiest fish to prepare in so many different ways.  You can make salmon patties, burgers or cakes; grill salmon steaks and kabobs; use it in fish stew; and fry or bake it topped with all sorts of sauces.  In short Salmon is like a blank canvas!

One of my favorite Salmon recipes is Seared Salmon with Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce.  It’s delicious!  I serve it with a side of poor man’s pasta (that’s spaghetti or any type of pasta tossed in butter and garlic then sprinkled with parmesan cheese) or if we’re on diets (which we are almost always on) I serve it with grilled asparagus or sauteed spinach.  Anyway you serve it this Salmon dish is wonderful!

Seared Salmon with Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce

Ingredients:

1 large Salmon fillet sliced into 3-4 strips (see picture)

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

2 Tbs. Butter

Pinch of salt & pepper

1 Tsp. Garlic – minced

1/2 Cup Chicken Broth

1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

2 Lemons – 1 with juice squeezed out and the other cut in slices for garnish

2 Tbs. Fresh Dill chopped

Directions:

Pat Salmon slices dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.

In a medium to large skillet melt 1 Tbs. butter in the olive oil.

When butter is melted add salmon, cook both sides about 5 minutes per side.

Remove cooked salmon from pan, place on a dish and set aside.

Add garlic to skillet and cook just until it starts to turn brown.

Add chicken broth and lemon juice to skillet and scrape off any salmon pieces and garlic off the bottom.  This is called “deglazing”.

Bring liquid to a simmer and add heavy whipping cream.

Simmer for about 3-4 minutes until sauce starts to thicken a bit.

Place salmon back into skillet to warm up.

Add dill to sauce and spoon over salmon.

Place salmon on serving dish.  Pour sauce over salmon garnish with lemon slices to serve.

 


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Roasted Garlic Butter Chicken

Roasted Garlic Butter Chicken

If you’re looking for a way to make a tender juicy roasted chicken then you must try this Roasted Garlic Butter Chicken.  It’s seriously tender, juicy, crisp skinned and tasty too!

I know many times roasted or even rotisserie chicken comes out dry and not very tasty.  That’s one of the reasons I seldom buy the rotisserie chicken from the grocery stores.  But I do love roast chicken!

The secret to crispy skin is to make sure the chicken skin is to make sure the skin is dry before you begin.  And to ensure a tender juicy roast chicken you bake it slowly on at a lower temperature and letting it rest before serving.  The tastiness comes from the fresh herbs you will use on and in your chicken.

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Roasted Garlic Butter Chicken

Ingredients:

3-4 Lb. Whole Chicken

1/2 Stick Butter – Melted

1 Tbl. Garlic Minced

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Lemon Pepper

1Tsp. Fresh Rosemary leaves or dried rosemary

1/2 Tsp. Fresh Sage -chopped or dried Sage

1/2 Tsp. Fresh Thyme leaves or dried

1/2 Tsp Fresh Basil – chopped or dried basil

1 Lemon cut into quarters

4 Garlic cloves peeled

3 Sprigs fresh rosemary

3-4 Leaves Fresh Sage

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees

Remove giblets from chicken cavity and wash chicken (you can boil giblets for gravy if you want)

Dry chicken with paper towels.  Be sure entire chicken is dry.

Place on rack breast side up.

Spread salt into chicken cavity.

Place lemon quarters and peeled garlic cloves loosely into cavity.

Place Rosemary springs and Sage leaves loosely into cavity.

Tie legs together.

Mix dry or chopped fresh herbs into melted butter. (this includes lemon pepper, rosemary, thyme, sage and minced garlic).

Rub butter mixture all over the chicken, be sure you get it in the creases and every exposed part of the chicken.  I usually use my hands to rub the butter mixture on to the chicken, this ensures I get it in all the creases and the wings.

Tuck wings into to sides.

Place chicken in the oven and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to cook until internal temperature is 165 degrees – this will take about 1 hour to 1 hour 10-15 minutes.

Remove chicken from oven and let rest for about 15 minutes.

Place chicken on serving platter, remove ties from legs and remove the herbs and lemon from the cavity.

Replace with fresh springs of rosemary and sage leaves for garnish if desired.

Slice and serve immediately.

If you have left overs you can turn the meat into Chicken Salad or boil the carcass for stock and make Chicken Soup.


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Easy Lobster Bake

Easy Lobster Bake

It’s the 4th. of July weekend, and I do mean weekend this year!  This means baseball (such as it is during this pandemic), picnics (socially distanced of course), and backyard barbecues!

I know things are different this year and “normal” is anything but business as usual.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the birth of our nation in a grand way, just maybe not in the same way we’ve always done.

For many this weekend means firing up the grill for that all important barbecue.  Sure grilled burgers, dogs, and steaks and smoked meats are 4th. of July favorites, but if you’re looking for something different read on!

I remember spending one 4th. of July in Bar Harbor, Maine.  We stayed at the Wonder View Inn which was built on the site where Mary Roberts Rinehart’s estate once stood.  The hotel had wonderful views overlooking Acadia National Park; and the site it was built on had an interesting history.

During the 4th. of July holiday Bar Harbor was decorated in full regalia, it has after all been voted #1 in America by the Today Show for it’s 4th. of July celebrations which includes parades and fireworks.  The fireworks were spectacular, we viewed it from our room’s balcony.   But the best thing I remembered from our 4th. of July vacation in Bar Harbor was the lobster!  I seemed that every restaurant in town had a lobster special, and why not, Maine is definitely lobster country!  They had everything from lobster rolls to lobster bakes going on.

So this year I decided that a Lobster Bake was how we’d celebrate our July 4th. holiday.  Since going to Bar Harbor is not an option this year I thought bringing a Bar Harbor tradition home would be a great idea.

A traditional Maine lobster bake are pots of lobsters, mussels, clams, shrimp, corn, and potatoes all covered in seaweed and steamed.  It’s usually steamed at the beach on hot rocks piled with seaweed and the other ingredients and covered with a large tarp, the seaweed steams the seafood to perfection.  Of course you can dig a hole in the sand at a beach and do it the traditional way, but there’s a much easier option.  I make my Lobster Bake on a sheet pan and bake it in the oven, easy peasy!

Here’s how I do it!

Easy Lobster Bake

Ingredients:

6 – 10 Lobster Tails about 4 oz. each (I usually make 2 tails per person)

1 Lb. Extra Large Shrimp (peeled and de-veined but leave the tail on)

1 Lb. Clams

1 Lb. Hot and Spicy Sausage or any type of Sausage you prefer – cut in 1-2″ chunks

6 Red Potatoes – Cut into quarters

3 Cobs of Corn cut into thirds or 6 – 8 frozen mini corn cobs

2 Lemons cut in to wedges

4 Sticks Butter

2 Tbs. Garlic minced

1 Tbs. Old Bay Seasoning

1 Bunch parsley for garnish

Directions:

Boil potatoes and corn in water for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are half cooked.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Line very large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt 2 sticks of butter and add 1 Tbs. garlic and Old Bay. Still until well combined.  Cook until butter turns golden brown, be careful not to burn this mixture.  Remove from heat and set in a warm spot.

Drain potatoes and corn in a large bowl.

Cut each tail down the back but not all the way thru, this will make taking the meat out of the shell easier.

Place lobster tails, shrimp, clams, and sausage in bowl with the potatoes and corn.

Pour melted butter mixture over all and gently mix until everything is coated in butter.

Arrange everything on to the sheet in a single layer.

Place wedges of 1 lemon on the sheet.

Bake for about 18 minutes or until clams open, shrimp is pink, and lobster meat is white.

Meanwhile melt remaining 2 sticks of butter and add remaining garlic.  Cook until butter is golden brown.  Transfer to dipping bowls for serving.

Place remaining lemon wedges on a plate for serving.

Remove pan from oven, garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

Serve with bowls of corn slaw and biscuits or crusty bread.

Give each person a bowl of butter of dipping and allow them them to serve themselves from the baking sheet.

 

 

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Mochiko Chicken – Japanese Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken is a favorite dish in most familys.  Its tender and juicy on the inside and has that perfect satisfying crunch on the outside.  What’s not to love?

Most folks picture KFC like chicken or Southern Fried Chicken (that’s delicious by the way) when they think of fried chicken.  Of course Southern Fried Chicken served with homemade mashed potatoes, thick gravy, and melt in your mouth biscuits are delicious, but there are other equally delicious versions of fried chicken.

One of my favorites is Mochiko Chicken or Japanese Fried Chicken.  It’s battered with Sweet Rice Flour giving it a bit of sweetness along with a nice crunch on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside.  Served with steamed white rice and Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy it makes a nice healthy meal.

This dish is marinated in the refrigerator overnight, that’s what makes it so tasty and gives it a nice crunch.

Mochiko Chicken

Ingredients:

4 Lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken thighs cut into thirds

2/3 Cup Cornstarch

1/3 Cup Mochiko Flour

1/3 Cup Soy Sauce

2 Tbs. Oyster Sauce

1 Tsp. Sesame Oil

1 Tbs. Garlic Minced

1/4 Cup Chopped Green Onions

2 Eggs

Oil for frying

Sesame Seeds and chopped Green Onion for garnish

Directions:

Combine all ingredients expect garnish and oil for frying into a large ziplock bag.  Batter will be thick, it will thin overnight.

Shake bag to coat all chicken pieces.

Refrigerate overnight.

When you are ready to fry you will find that the marinade has thinned and possibly separated.  Shake to recombine marinade and coat chicken.

Heat oil and fry each piece until chicken is cooked and batter is golden brown and crisp.

Drain on paper towel.

Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion.

Serve with hot rice and vegetables of your choice.


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